GCSE Biology - AQA
1.1.7 - Structures of Eukaryotic Cells
There are certain features which all eukaryotic cells share. They are all relatively large cells (compared to prokaryotic cells), and they all have their DNA enclosed in a nucleus.
In terms of sub-cellular structures, all eukaryotic cells have a cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, ribosomes and mitochondria.
Some types of eukaryotic cells also have other sub-cellular structures: plant cells and algal cells have chloroplasts, a vacuole and a cell wall.
The structures of animal, plant and algal cells are shown below. The functions of the various sub-cellular structures will be explained on a later page. For now, we will just focus on which cells have which sub-cellular structures.
Animal cells have the following sub-cellular structures:
Diagram of an animal cell, with its sub-cellular structures labelled.
Microscope image of animal cells. These cells are from a cow's pulmonary artery. They have been stained with three fluorescent stains: one that turns the nucleus blue, one that turns the mitochondria red and one that turns a protein called actin green. Image: Erin Rod on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
Plant cells have all of the same sub-cellular structures as animal cells. In addition, they have:
A plant cell, with its sub-cellular structures labelled.
Light microscope image of cells from a plant called Hart's-tongue Thyme-moss. Cell walls and chloroplasts are visible.
Algal cells (the cells of algae) have all of the same sub-cellular structures as plant cells, including a cell wall made out of cellulose. This is because plants and algae are closely related.
An algal cell, with its sub-cellular structures labelled.
An algal cell viewed through an electron microscope
Flashcards help you memorise information quickly. Copy each question onto its own flashcard and then write the answer on the other side. Testing yourself on these regularly will enable you to learn much more quickly than just reading and making notes.
What features do all eukaryotic cells share?
Which sub-cellular structures are found in animal cells?
Which sub-cellular structures are found in plant and algal cells?
1.1.8 - Structures of Prokaryotic Cells
1.1.6 - Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells
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